Tuesday, April 12, 2016

The enduring fascination with Catherine Cambridge's skirt

Never in the history of royal watching have we ever been so fascinated by another woman's skirt. Yes, we talk about the length and color of Catherine's clothes, marveling when the outfits sell out. We also discuss what we seen/don't see when said skirt get blown up in the wind. As was the case with Catherine as she stood with Prince William at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the war memorial in New Delhi.

*Clutches pearls*

Catherine's skirt has blown up! Let's write articles and dissect the moment. Let's keep a running tally while we're at it. Use it as another example of Catherine's seeming stubborn refusal to invest in wind defying skirts that are chic, affordable and stylish for the rest of us. Why can't she weigh her hems down? Is she an exhibitionist? Let's speculate on that too. Forget the purpose of the solemn moment or the visit in general. It all boils down to how Catherine looks and what she is wearing. That's a completely different article altogether.

Were it any other woman: mother, daughter, sister, close friend, co-worker, we would likely be sympathetic. It happens to the best of us at some point, no? We would not dare to make comments on a public forum when it comes to those closest to us. That would be inappropriate and bitchy. There is no way to positively spin shaming another woman. No way. There is nothing constructive about it, it does not add value and doing so will not lead to the greater good of women everywhere. As a matter of fact it will to the opposite.

So the next time another woman has a public wardrobe malfunction, show some respect. You will be grateful for that response when it happens to you.

© Marilyn Braun 2016

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Cheryl Ciucevich said...

Normally I agree with you entirely, Marilyn, but in this case, I have to say that it is silly that this same wardrobe malfunction has happened several times. Sure, we all have wardrobe malfunctions, but after I nearly flashed my priest with a wraparound top that decided to open up at exactly the wrong moment, I began wearing a brooch or safety pin whenever I decide to wear such a top. In other words, I try not to repeat the same mistake. I personally think that all of the royal ladies spend too much time on their wardrobes, and that the public/media obsession with talking about it always detracts from the much more important work or occasions that these women are trying to draw attention to. Debuting new outfits or jewels at a critical event can be distracting enough. So, if you have learned that your skirts have a tendency to blow up and become the center of attention, you have a responsibility to try your hardest to avoid that situation. After giving the priest an eyeful, I did not rely upon my shirts to miraculously keep themselves closed. Catherine should know by now that the wind is not going to stop blowing around the world. That's not shaming her, that's just common sense.

Marilyn Braun said...

I've spent more than enough time arguing this point on twitter but I'll do it again here.

Note that I am not a Kate apologist. I have my fair share of criticism towards her and I have no problem writing critical articles. But after this 'incident' and reading an blog article detailing these very moments (with photographs) and how people want to see Kate 'eviscerated' for her skirt blowing yet again, that is definitely not about wanting to maintain royal standards of decorum. That IS body shaming.

An entire, tamer, article was written about 'Marilyn Monroe moments'. Are these incidents fodder or are they to provide a genuine public service for Kate? If someone is that concerned about this, instead of writing an article about it, why not send her a care package of hem weights, no? Heck, let all of the outraged on twitter club together and send her some. But no, we won't because then it wouldn't give people a chance to rip into her again now would it? Do I think people want it to happen again and again? No, but it doesn't stop them from looking/waiting for it.

This has happened to Kate what, four times? During my twitter arguments, I gave FIVE examples of the Queen's skirts blowing up in the wind. I showed a photo of Camilla's skirt blowing in the wind. My point? WIND HAPPENS. But NO, those examples were not good enough to show that it happens to everyone and doesn't discriminate. Somehow, Kate is in a special league of her own where she is supposed to have control over the elements at all times. Somehow she is to blame for the wind. Do we blame the Queen/Camilla/Diana for the wind blowing up their skirts? Nope. Why? Because WIND HAPPENS. We seem to understand that only we when want to.

But...but...but people say, unlike with those illustrious women, we have SEEN things with Kate. Ok, fair enough. But do we really need to? In this case we didn't see anything untold and yet we are still harping on it as if it is just as bad as past instances! Other than her legs we didn't see anything dramatic. During the tour, Kate's clothes got caught in the wind on other occasions, I'm betting people were waiting with baited breath for it to happen again. Do you see something wrong with being on skirt-watch?

I don't disagree that Kate has shown too much. I don't even disagree that she should use hem weights, etc. I disagree in THIS instance with lumping this in as yet another example of her bad judgement.

Why??? Those I was arguing with agreed that the New Delhi dress was appropriate. It was respectable and lined properly. It was not flimsy, like other unfortunate dresses she has worn. Despite choosing an appropriate dress, the wind STILL caught it. It was a mistake. WIND HAPPENS.

In this instance, after choosing an appropriate outfit for the occasion, it is completely, totally and utterly ludicrous to blame her for something beyond her control. Yet I know that for more vocal Kate critics they will blame her no matter what she does or doesn't do.